When we went to Logan's 4 month appointment the doctor was quite worried about Logan's weight gain...or I guess, lack thereof. He had pretty much stayed at 14 lbs for two months. Which honestly is pretty crazy. My first thoughts were that he had lost some weight because of his sickness. I think that is partially true, but still not very good.
I don't think our doctor is very "pro breastfeeding," which is fine, so he naturally jumped to adding formula to every feeding. I'm certainly not against formula. I believe in the motto "a fed baby is best." That being said, I have a real love for nursing. I really feel like it is such a special time between Logan and me. Just us two. It's quite beautiful. I had just begun to feel like we were starting to get into a good routine. We had a good schedule, he was sleeping through the night, and I could almost always tell what he needed when he cried. This news that I needed to supplement hit me like a freight train. I all of a sudden started having these feelings of doubt and insecurity. Thinking that maybe I had unintentionally been starving my baby, or that I obviously had no idea what he needed. I was able to keep my composure while at the doctor's office, but when I called Dallin I just started bawling. I just couldn't stop. I felt like a failure of a mom, which is silly. And I kept telling myself it was fine and I needed to calm down, but that seemed to make it worse. I would have mini melt downs for the next week at least. It was rough for me.
So supplementing began. It was slightly unfortunate that I had just barely like 4 days before given away approximately 35oz of milk I had saved in the freezer to a very good friend who was in desperate need of some. It was fortunate though that I had just barely got 2 boxes of formula samples in the mail so we didn't need to get any. Logan hated formula at first. He would cry and spit it out. So sad. Eventually though I did get him to take a formula bottle and ever since then he does just fine. I think he prefers breastmilk, but he'll take formula if we need him to.
The doctor told us to nurse him and then feed him a bottle until he was full. After which I would pump to try and increase my supply. When we would give Logan a bottle he would just eat and eat. I would nurse him and he would eat 5 more ounces. Every time we fed him. It was kind of crazy. A couple of days into this routine we started noticing that he was more fussy and he was spitting up all the time. Now as I mentioned before, this whole supplementing thing threw me for a loop. I was all sorts of a mess, and I am quite sure it started to throw off everything else. Dallin could tell things were weird, Logan could tell. It was awful. Logan's schedule got all messed up too. He stopped sleeping through the night (which was actually ok because it helped to bring my supply up and he was getting extra calories) and that led to me being more exhausted. Anywho, lots of tears were shed and it was an emotional roller-coaster for us all.
We cut back on the formula to just an extra 2oz after I nursed him and that seemed to help with the spitting up and fussiness. I started doing everything I could to increase my supply. I started eating oatmeal every morning, I started taking Fenugreek, I drank more water and ate more, and I pumped after every nursing for at least 10 minutes. I didn't notice a change in my supply at first, but gradually I started pumping more at night and it seemed like he was much more content after feedings. Eventually I had pumped enough to start using breastmilk to supplement with instead of formula.
And then one day I decided to not stress about it anymore. I stopped having these emotional breakdowns and I started just trying to focus on keeping Logan happy and healthy. That made a world of difference! He gained weight like a champ and he's still going strong! I don't supplement at all during the day, unless for some reason he is really freaking out because of hunger. Before bed I nurse him and then after he is all ready and in his pj's we give him a bottle with about 3 oz to top him off before sleep, and then I will nurse him once or twice during the night when he wakes up for them.
Everything is much better. Minus the getting up at the night haha. He's gaining well, we have found a good routine again, and I feel like we are back to understanding each other. I think sometimes doctors mean well, and I do agree that supplementing was right for us at the time, but other times I think a mother should trust her heart and feelings! We moms know our babies best! :)